The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Materials Management program has awarded more than $600,000 in grant funding to 19 local governments and non-profit organizations. The funding covers local government materials management planning efforts and projects that promote the prevention, recovery or reuse of solid wastes.
For the first time, DEQ prioritized projects preventing the wasting of food and received many strong applications. Ten of this year’s accepted projects either prevent wasted food or support food rescue efforts. In addition to food-related projects, the projects benefit Oregon’s environment, create jobs and support low income families.
Some examples of projects that received funding include Projects preventing the wasting of food in Corvallis and Oregon State University. Planning to evaluate expanded recycling, reuse and repair services in Tillamook County. The Oregon Food Bank will receive a $100,000 grant to implement Fresh Alliance, its retail store donation program, rescuing perishable food for redistribution. Since 2015 the program has increased the amount of food rescued by 55 percent. DEQ funding will maintain and further expand the program through an anticipated partnership with Costco.
Lincoln County will receive a grant through the Lincoln County Solid Waste District for over $10,000 for a Green Schools project that will implement food waste composting, reestablish recycling, and seek Green School certification at Sam Case Elementary and Newport Middle Schools. Funding was made possible through fee increases approved by the state legislature in 2015.